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SOUTHAVEN â€“ Starkville's 10-year-old All-Stars finished their competition at the Dizzy Dean World Series with the consolation championship after defeating the St. John's Warriors in a slugfestÂ 13-12 on Tuesday.
"It was a big one," coach T.J. Kent said. "The kids were pumped up and excited. The coaches and fans were excited, almost more than the kids."
Overall Starkville, which won the Dizzy Dean South State championship, finished the tournament with a 5-2 record, but for Kent and his fellow coaches, Stuart Davis, Judd Skelton and Tom McReynolds, it was all about watching their athletes take part in the entire experience.
"We experienced a lot," Kent said. "Just to take the kids (to the World Series) meant a lot to the coaches. Getting to watch the excitement on their face during each phase was worth it. They didn't say it in words, but their expressions showed how excited they were."
On top of the sheer excitement from participating in the World Series and finishing as consolation champions, Kent says his team took part in tremendous growth throughout the tournament.
"They grew a lot," Kent said. "To be 10-year-olds and play together as long as they have, that group of boys came together so much while we were playing state. The entire process was amazing."
The ride has now come to a close and looking back Kent knows none of it would have been possible without the support of his assistant coaches and the parents of each athlete.
"I cannot thank the parents enough for bringing the kids up there and letting us lead them," Kent said. "It has been absolutely amazing from a coaches perspective."